A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and
working in the United States . If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you
have a relative who is a citizen of the United States or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must
go through a multi-step process.
The USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition, I-130, for Alien Relative for you. This petition is filed by
your relative (sponsor) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative.
Department of State's Visa Bulletin.
If you are already in the United States , you may apply to change your status to that of a lawful permanent
resident after a visa number becomes available for you. This is one way you can apply to secure an immigrant
visa number. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available for you,
you must then go to the U.S. Consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing.
This is the other way in which you can apply to secure an immigrant visa number.
To be eligible to sponsor a relative to immigrate to the United States you must meet the following criteria:
If you are a US Citizen you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United
- You must prove that you can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
States ; however you must be able to provide proof of the relationships:
If you are a lawful permanent resident you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate
- Husband or wife;
- Unmarried child under 21 years old;
- Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
- Married son or daughter of any age;
- Brother or sister, if you are at least 21 years old; or
- Parent, if you are at least 21 years old.
to the United States ; however you must be able to provide proof of the relationships:
To be eligible for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship you must meet the following
- Husband or wife; or
- Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
- You must have a relative who is a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United
States who can provide documentation proving their status and is willing to sponsor you for lawful
permanent residency by filing the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
- Your relative must prove they can support you by providing documentation that their income is 125%
above the mandated poverty line for their family, including you and all other sponsored family members.
If your relative is a US Citizen and they can legally prove you share one of the following relationships,
you may be eligible for lawful permanent residency, please see below for preference category
The relative you wish to immigrate must obtain a visa number that is based on the preference category in
which they fall.
People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. The
immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which include parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of
21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them
is approved by the USCIS. An immigrant visa number will be immediately available for immediate relatives of U.
S. citizens. The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for a visa number to become available
according to the following preferences:
Once USCIS receives your visa petition, I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, it will be approved or denied. USCIS
- First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or
- Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-
one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.
will notify the person who filed the visa petition if the visa petition is approved. USCIS will then send the
approved visa petition to the Department of State's National Visa Center , where it will remain until an
immigrant visa number is available. The Center will notify you, the foreign national, when the visa petition is
received and again when an immigrant visa number is available. You do not need to contact the National Visa
Center , unless you change your address or there is a change in your personal situation, or that of your alien
relative, that may affect eligibility for an immigrant visa, such as reaching age 21, marriage, divorce, or death of
The Law Office Of Michael Ewetuga
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